Senior Day win leads BYU softball to sweep of Santa Clara
PROVO, Utah — Senior third baseman Coco Tauali’i Bond drove in three runs and hit two doubles on Senior Day as BYU softball run-ruled Santa Clara 9-1 Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.
The leadoff batter, fellow senior centerfielder Gordy Bravo, shined in her home finale as well, going 1 for 2 with one walk and a run scored.
"It was a great weekend to have our fans get a chance to focus on our seniors," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "Coco and Gordy are tremendous players and even better young women. We’re so grateful to have had them in our program."
The Cougars (33-18, 10-2 West Coast Conference) completed their third conference sweep of the season and recorded their 11th win in the past 12 games, taking care of business against the visiting Broncos (8-40, 3-9 WCC).
"Solid offense, solid defense. McKenna came in with her 'A' game," BYU pitching coach Pete Meredith said. "The team performed outstanding with the bat, did all the right things and secured the win, which is tough to do."
Right fielder Madison Merrell also added a 1-for-2 day at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. First baseman Ashley Thompson continued her hitting tear at the plate, notching a triple and a single with three runs scored.
From the circle, McKenna Bull (24-11) allowed two hits and one run while striking out seven.
Following the game, Bond and Bravo were honored for their contributions over the past four seasons.
Bull retired the first nine batters of the game, including three strikeouts.
In the bottom of the first, Thompson patiently took a pitch opposite field for a two-out triple down the right field line. Catcher Libby Sugg followed with a base on balls. Sugg then purposefully was caught in a pickle between first and third, providing the necessary diversion for Thompson to touch home from third for the 1-0 lead before the end of the first.
Cougar batters exercised patience in the second facing the SCU pitcher with two outs. Merrell drew a walk on a full count. Bond then pulled a 3-2 pitch to the corner in left field for a two-out RBI double to score Merrell for the 2-0 advantage.
BYU steadily continued its scoring production in the third. Thompson led off with a single, reaching base with another opposite field hit to right. Sugg walked for the second time of the game, and two batters later, Emilee Erickson found the gap at the wall in left center for her first single of the game, scoring Thompson to extend the lead to 3-0.
Bull continued to shut down the Broncos in the fourth as she got out of a jam by striking out the side but not before giving up her first hit and walk of the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Cougars made Santa Clara pay for two costly errors. Bravo drew a one-out walk, and back-to-back dropped fly balls by SCU resulted in two more runs scoring with Bravo and Bell coming home.
Consecutive two-run doubles by Merrell and Bond pushed the tally to 9-0 at the end of the fourth.
SCU had one run in the top of the fifth, a solo home run, before the game ended 9-1.
The Cougars travel to Logan, Utah, for a nonconference matchup against Utah State on Tuesday at 5 p.m and will be broadcast on BYU Radio and streamed live online. Next weekend BYU finishes WCC action with a series at San Diego.
BYU softball will hold walk-on tryouts at Gail Miller Field on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. MDT.